One of the most popular shave ice toppings is sweetened condensed milk, also known as sweet cream. This simple and sweet topping turns your shave ice into a frozen treat that closely resembles homemade ice cream.
It’s great as a stand alone topping, but you can also add an additional topping like chocolate or caramel syrup to transform your shave ice into a sundae.
Here’s the scoop on sweetened condensed milk – what it is, and why it’s so good on shave ice.
What Is Sweetened Condensed Milk (Sweet Cream)?
Sweet cream is condensed milk that has been combined with cane sugar and evaporated of most of its water. It’s not quite powdered milk, but it is much drier and thicker than regular drinking milk. The sugar cane and evaporation turns the milk into a thick cream that mixes in nicely with a variety of dishes, especially shaved ice.
Whatever you mix sweet cream into becomes thickened as well. That’s how it transforms your shave ice into a loose and flaky ice cream resemblance.
Why Sweet Cream is So Good on Shave Ice
Ice cream and shave ice are the two most popular frozen desserts that come in cup or cone form. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have both at the same time? Well, you can with sweet cream. Shave ice stands out amongst other iced desserts for its flaky consistency. When you pour some sweet cream onto your shave ice, you are thickening your ice shavings, but they still remain rather loose and flaky.
However, the sweet cream tends to bring the ice shavings together giving it a texture closer to ice cream without losing the refreshing iciness of shave ice. Ice cream and shave ice combination complete.
For best results, mix sweet cream with flavors like vanilla, banana, strawberry cheesecake, coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, or egg custard. These flavors are sweeter and more thick in nature. Mixing acidic flavors with sweet cream is a no go as the cream can curdle.
Make Sweet Cream at Home
You can add sweet cream to your homemade shave ice topping repertoire. It’s a simple treat to make. You need just four ingredients – milk, sweetener, butter, and vanilla extract. You can use dairy-free milk like oat or almond milk. For your sweetener, you can use granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other thick sweetener. The sweetener you use will change the flavor of your sweet cream so get creative and find the mix that you like best.
To make sweet cream at home, all you need to do is whisk together the milk with your favorite sweetener over medium-low heat, and bring your mixture to a low simmer. Whisk often as it simmers, until the milk has been reduced by half. This takes about 30 minutes. Once the milk has been reduced, remove your mixture from heat and stir in butter and vanilla and set aside to cool completely before refrigerating for 1 week.
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